Visitors to our assemblies and studies sometimes fault us for what they call "denomination bashing", by which they mean we criticize denominations.
If "denomination bashing" is wrong, Jesus was guilty. He said, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees" (Matthew 16:6, 11). "Leaven" here referred to "doctrine" (Matthew 16:12). Since the Pharisees and Sadducees were the prominent religious sects of the day, His remarks are like modern comments warning of the doctrine of the Pentecostals, Baptists, and the Christian Church denomination.
Concern is expressed that visitors to our assemblies from these denominations would be offended by such remarks. JESUS WAS TOLD THE SAME THING. "Then His disciples came and said to Him, 'DO YOU KNOW THAT THE PHARISEES WERE OFFENDED WHEN THEY HEARD THIS SAYING?' But He answered and said, 'Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch'" (Matthew 15:12-14). When truth is contrasted with error, those who practice error are likely to take offense, but that does not diminish our responsibility to shine the light and reprove darkness.
Those who truly love the truth will overcome the error they practice. "There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, 'Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him'" (John 3:1-2). Despite the Lord "bashing" his "denomination", Nicodemus managed to conclude that Jesus spoke the truth. Methodists, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians who hear the truth presented in contrast to the error they practice can likewise learn and obey the truth.
We intend no unkindness toward those who practice the errors we reprove, but we reprove them nonetheless, for we would rather save souls while wounding feelings than spare feelings at the expense of anyone's salvation.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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